“Focus on the journey, not the destination.
Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”
– Greg Anderson
I guess you could call me a recovering Corporate Junkie. My "previous life" centered around a very demanding management role in a large insurance company, where I was obsessed with driving sales results, meeting objectives, and climbing the corporate ladder. In order to be “successful”, I thought I had to work incessantly. I had to be “on” all the time and play into the corporate politics.
Deep down, I knew it wasn’t who I was or who I wanted to be. I was burnt out, stressed out, and I couldn’t see a way out….Honestly, I couldn’t imagine ever doing anything else. The "role" had become my identity.
In 2015, I traveled to Eastern Oregon to personally work with Whitney Freya (Inspired Living Expert, Author, Inspirational Speaker and my creative mentor) to earn my Creatively Fit Coaching Certification. During this training program, I discovered the “art of being creative” and developed my own personal painting "practice". Through this creative practice, I started to feel like a completely new person - everyone around me could see a difference in me (just ask my husband). I gained the clarity, that I didn’t realize I was looking for, which allowed me to envision a life that I wanted to create, intentionally.
"Just like painting, if you don't like what you see on the canvas you can change the outcome, simply by painting over it. So, I began "painting" over the areas of my life where I needed to "create" change."
First of all, I was compelled to share this amazing process that I had learned, and started leading small groups through Whitney's Creatively Fit programs, which led to facilitating regular creative workshops and to eventually holding beautiful retreats.
Then, I started setting up large canvases at community events and introduced a new brand of collaborative art: The CommUNITY Canvas Project, where everyone is invited to paint, doodle, and play on the canvas. The result is a collaborative piece of art layered with random abstract patterns infused with the positive energy of everyone who participated. Then I up-cycle the painted canvas into other products, like guitar straps, prayer flags, art bags, journals, etc., with a portion of the the sales earmarked for a scholarship fund to bring arts to youth in our local Jackson, MS community.
In 2017, my husband & I opened a holistic wellness studio dedicated to Floatation Therapy and Creative Wellness, focused on nurturing personal flow — our beloved Jax-Zen Healing Arts Center was brought to life along with The CommUNITY Canvas Art Studio where I now host most of my creative workshops.
In 2018, I launched Kidi-Zen Art Classes, Camps and After-School Programs to inspire kids to be confident, compassionate, critical thinkers, who celebrate differences as world citizens and are more globally and culturally aware.
That year, we also decided to shift the paradigm on our son's education and took him out of a prominent private school in lieu of providing an interest-based, world school approach.
In 2019, I finally retired from a 35-year corporate career that no longer aligned with my true calling and divine purpose.
Along the way, I have become a Certified Reiki Master Practitioner and Teacher, a HeartMath® Certified Practitioner, a Coherence Hotspot Certified Facilitator, a Certified Yoga Teacher (RYT200).
In 2020 I was selected as an Artist Fellow for the Live.Impact.Create initiative and utilized the opportunity to develop heART Lab, a Resilience Training & Mentoring program for families, educators and caregivers.
I have exciting plans to launch my new heART Flow Coaching Certification Program, expand my Business Flow offerings with a new heART of Business workshop series, and implement the next phase of Kidi-Zen!
Over the next couple of years, painting on the canvas became my "yoga". It was my way to deal with the stress of all of the corporate B.S. While the company I worked for went through a major restructure, I was faced with the probability of having to relocate and the possibility losing my job completely. The more I painted, the more I realized that that I was ready to be in control of my own destiny. I learned, just like painting, if you don't like what you see on the canvas, you can change the outcome simply by painting over it. So, I began "painting" over the areas of my life where I needed to "create" change. With my newfound confidence to transform my world, I finally had the courage to take control of my life! I kept my full-time corporate gig while we downsized our home and paid off bills.
At that time, I had no idea of all of the changes that were to come.....